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Kris Whorton, Rock/Creek Race Team


Age: 47
Number of years running: 34
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Occupation: University English lecturer

Favorite trail race(s):
Mountain Mist 50k

Favorite trails to train on:
I’m not sure I have a favorite run because I love running wherever I go, but the diversity of the trails around Chattanooga, especially Skyuka Springs trail, Bluff trail, Edwards Point loop, and Mullins Cove loop inspire me every time I run them.

I’m typically a big fan of new trails and I love running abroad but there are many places I run that are “touchstone” trails, places I need to run sometimes just to feel right in the world. The Mesa Trail in Boulder, Colorado where I grew up and went to college is one place, and Slick Rock in, Moab, Utah is another; almost any trail in the Indian Peaks or Rockies of Colorado are others.

Favorite trail running shoe(s):
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2

Lifelong running goals:
To run into my 80s, if I live that long. To be healthy and enjoy as many of those miles as possible. To experience new places and introduce trails to as many people as possible.

I was raised in Boulder, Colorado and attended the University there. I grew up backpacking, and cross-country skiing, and with a healthy love for spending time outdoors. Since the Mesa Trail was literally just out my backdoor, trail running seemed a logical pursuit. Plus it was 1978 and I was in Boulder… what else was I supposed to do?

I entered my first road race in the early 90s, and my first ultra with my husband Randy in 1995. We’ve both lived abroad, which fostered a love for travel and running in new places. We travel to run as often as possible and have competed in marathons, ultras, and multi-day events throughout the U.S. and Europe. We moved to the south in 1997, and love the challenging trails and year round access. I teach English at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and also enjoy climbing, scuba diving, reading, gardening, and playing and running with my dogs.

2012 season summary:
Volunteered for the following Rock Creek Trail Series events: River Gorge race, Scenic City Marathon, Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race, Still Hollow 1/2 Marathon, Rock Creek Stump Jump, and Lookout Mountain 50M. Ran Black Warrior 50k (2nd place), Mt. Mitchell Marathon, Savage Gulf Marathon (won 1st Overall Female), Run for the Bay road marathon, Upchuck 50k (tied for 3rd place Female).

Proudest running accomplishments:
My first 100 mile race finish (Massanutten in 1998) with my husband; a 219-mile 7-day Stage race in Switzerland; 9-100 mile trail races, including the world’s fastest 100 mile trail time for a masters female in 2009.

Planned races for 2013:
Black Warrior 50k
Savage Gulf Marathon
Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race
Upchuck 50k

Significant accomplishments:
New 2009 Female Masters Course Record for Umstead 100
1st female Pinhoti 2008
1st Master’s Female Superior Sawtooth 2008
2nd Master’s Female Vermont 2008
2nd Female Umstead 2007 (18:13 / world’s fastest 100 mile trail time for 40+ female)
2nd female Arkansas Traveler 2005
1st female Kettle Moraine 2002
1st female and master’s course record Mountain Mist 50K 2007; 1st Master’s female 2006, 2007, 2008.
1st female and course record Black , Warrior 50K 2006, 2007, 2008
Master’s female winner, Shadow of the Giants 50K 2008
1st female and course record Recover from the Holidays 50K 2006, 2007
1st female and course record StumpJump 50K 2007
1st female course record Oak Mountain 50K 2001

To date, 59 ultras and 9 100-milers!

  • Liz McClain


    Any specific suggestions to train for the Savage Gulf Marathon in March? I ran the Stump/Jump this year in 7h 40m. This was my first trail race and my first ultra.